Posts Tagged ‘The Flare Path’

The Flare Path: Shoots And Scoots

By Tim Stone on January 17th, 2014.

There was a young Panzer called Peter,
Who fancied himself a great defeater;
But because of his haste, and his tendency to waste Panzergranate 40 Armour Piercing Composite Rigid ammunition,
He was often disgraced in the War Thunder: Ground Forces beta.

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The Flare Path: Heads For The Hills

By Tim Stone on January 10th, 2014.

The FP works outings are legendary. Every year on the first bank holiday in Spring I pull up outside the office in a hired Abarth 500. Hilde and Hereward, the Reading Room librarians, squeeze into the back seat, closely followed by Roman (Senior Foxer Setter) Kate (Senior Foxer Setter’s Assistant) and Uncle George (Not Totally Certain What Uncle George Does). The hampers, rugs, and deck chairs are then carefully inserted, after which Michaela (Human Resources) Sean (Graphic Design), Oxo (Motion Capture), Lofty (Puns), Simeon (Guns) and Chelsea (Buns) usually threaten to resign unless I return the Abarth immediately and rent a more sensible vehicle. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wot I Think: OMSI 2

By Tim Stone on January 3rd, 2014.

Both the OMSI and the OMSI 2 manual begin with the same Goethe quote. In 2011 “Such a work is never actually finished – one must simply declare it to be finished once one has done as much as possible given the time and circumstances.” felt like a dangled promise… a hint of riches yet to come. In 2014, in the light of the NG272-length bug list currently dominating my play notes, it feels like a whispered apology… acknowledgement that the follow-up to one of the finest driving games of recent years was bustled out of the door before it was good and ready. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Sherry Is My Avgas

By Tim Stone on December 27th, 2013.

True Christmas contentment impossible while stray sim and wargame news stories still at large STOP Briefly leaving family/fireside to recommend Flashpoint Campaigns Red Storm and Global Air Traffic Control demos and share Combat Mission and SevenG vids STOP Intend to name and shame years worst sim too STOP Seriously if you are thinking about buying Airport Simulator 2014 in the Steam sale STOP this instant STOP in the name of love STOP Read the rest of this entry »

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Wot I Think: Wings Over Flanders Fields

By Tim Stone on December 20th, 2013.

Ever since reading about Ernst Udet’s brush with Georges Guynemer high above the Marne (the French ace waved then flew off after seeing his opponent struggling with hopelessly jammed MGs) I’ve attempted to behave chivalrously whenever possible while WWI flight simming. Wings Over Flanders Fields, the latest Combat Flight Simulator 3 metamorphoser from Great War scholars Old Brown Dog Software, has allowed me to take sportsmanship to undreamt-of levels. In WOFF not only do I frequently allow talented/spirited adversaries to escape, I often let them – if they’re so inclined – riddle my frail flying machine and frailer body with hot Pb.

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The Flare Path: Ducks The Issue

By Tim Stone on December 13th, 2013.

Simulatia shook like a flak-jostled Ju 88 on Wednesday afternoon when two long-longed-for sequels turned up within hours of each other. A better organised, less sleep-partial sim correspondent would have dashed-off pithy preliminary assessments of OMSI 2 and Wings Over Flanders Fields in time for his Friday column. Me, I’m still too busy pinching myself, rubbing the Fairey dust from my eyes, and deciding how I feel about two earlier arrivals. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Under Pressure

By Tim Stone on December 6th, 2013.

Knickers. I’ve just drawn Reader #3232 in the RPS Secret Santa draw. This year I’m buying for a chap who scribbles scores on his two-year-old son’s art, described Papers, Please as “adequate”, and last smiled in 1998*. Perhaps something in his reader file will trigger a gift idea.

Hmm. It appears he “tolerates wasps” and has a “grudging respect for the work of 19th Century sewer engineer Joseph Bazalgette”. That’s something, I suppose. Hang on – what’s this? “During a visit to the Somerset Shoe Museum in 2010, #3232 was overheard discussing Boyle’s Law and representations of Romanians in contemporary videogames”. Now that is interesting. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Must Tri Harder

By Tim Stone on November 29th, 2013.

When a Flare Path Friday falls on November 29, the 333rd day of the year, it’s traditional for all the stories to have a topical tripartite slant. Back in 2002 that meant detailed scrutiny of a just released Fokker Dr.I add-on for MSFS, coverage of Bronze Tide, a WIP Battle of Arginusae wargame, and an interview with Trilobyte Interactive, the makers of Lucy Lyme, a Spelunky precursor inspired by the activities of Victorian fossil hunter Mary Anning. Today it means words on Prepar3D, N3V’s plans, and IL-2: Battle of Stalingrad’s early access LaGG-3. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Hurls Demo Charges

By Tim Stone on November 22nd, 2013.

Demos are a digital wargamer’s Predator drones and PR Spitfires. They allow us to scout new battlefields safely and smartly. They furnish us with the information reviews, AARs and Let’s Plays can’t provide. I wouldn’t be without them, yet, these days, often am thanks to the questionable policies of sector-dominating militaria-mongers Slitherine/Matrix Games. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Contends With Congestion

By Tim Stone on November 15th, 2013.

It’s the final lap of the 73BC Nicopolis GP and the crowd are going walnuts. After narrowly avoiding a crashed chariot in lane 4 and the threshing wheel blades of the mad Scythian in lane 6, I whip my knackered nags through an unexpected gap in the frontrunners, and find myself leading by a good pertica. There’s now only one 180-degree turn and a furlong of foam-flecked dust between me and 25,000 denarius. This is it. My team, The Ballista Boys, are about to write themselves into chariot racing history.

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Wot I Think: Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm

By Tim Stone on November 8th, 2013.

Like Autumn, the forest alchemist, I’ve spent this week splashing hillsides with gold and crimson. In woods, fields and towns the length of West Germany I’ve been tirelessly turning earthy greens into vibrant reds and yellows. Hundreds of hurrying APCs, hastily dug-in MBTs, and hovering helo gunships have flared like frost-startled beech trees as I’ve fought to resist Red Storm’s irresistible red storm. It’s years since I witnessed such wholesale destruction in a tactical wargame, and years since I was so impressed by the rules and mechanisms underpinning hexagonal aggro.

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The Flare Path: Big Bus, Small Hours

By Tim Stone on November 1st, 2013.

The anticipators are myriad. They mill beside the stops at Rathaus, Spandau scrutinising distant double-deckers, and scowling at timepieces. They sigh, they pace, they ignore precipitation, but most of all they wait. They wait, as they’ve waited this past two years, for the sequel to one of The Five Great Simulations. OMSI 2 is close – so close you can almost hear the trill of its IBIS and smell the liquorice of its exhaust. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Flare Path: Slye And The Familiar Stone

By Tim Stone on October 25th, 2013.

I’m not a fan of the word ‘venerate’ (It’s too close to ‘enervate’ and ‘venereal’ for my liking) but when it comes to Red Baron, Dynamix’s Great War luft legend, I’m not sure there’s a verb that better describes my feelings. The news that Damon Slye is returning to Flanders, determined to recapture that exquisite balance, that perfect pace, and – fingers crossed – those eloquent chin shrubberies, sent a shiver through my ageing airframe. Hungry for gen, I scrawled some questions on a scrap of wing canvas, wrapped the scrap round a spanner, flew to Eugene, Oregon, and dropped it next to Mad Otter’s mess.*

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